the power of an encouraging word
I was sort of a part of a rather long conversation centered around Psalm 12 tonight. (And as a side note, I will say that I am slightly amused that the notes under the heading mention that the psalm was given to the director of music - the idea of singing about the themes in Psalm 12 is... well, I'm just not sure what sort of music you would quite put it to in a modern context. It would make for an interesting morning in church tho.) :)
The conversation wandered largely along the lines of how our words affect people, the differences between "flattery" (as it comes from a deceitful heart (not to be confused with genuine compliments)) and "encouragement" (which can include genuine compliments, and comes from a heart of love). Someone asked if we could think of a time when someone said something, even in passing, that caused us a lot of hurt. Mmm-hmm. But then, I can also think of times when people have said things that have encouraged me so much that I've either memorized the words, or saved them somewhere I know I can easily find them again.
"There are more colours on the palette of your soul than you have even begun to paint with."
"You have deep gifts and a deeper heart, and God will not allow you to go unused in His kingdom."
"I am so proud of you."
"You're one of the good ones."
"Recording with Happy is like coming out of the shower on a really cold day, wrapped in a really soft bathrobe, and walking into the kitchen to find that your mom just made you chicken noodle soup for lunch."
"It's not about marketability; if it was, Happy would have been married 10 years ago."
"Girl, you've got chutspa!"
"You are one of the most loyal people I know."
"God does have a plan for your life, Happy, and it is greater than your dreams."
I have had the very good fortune of having very good friends. And I have been so blessed by their speech. I wonder if they even know that? I hope so.
Just this week I got a letter from one of my favorite people - who actually is responsible for four of those quotes, plus countless others. Most of it was just newsy - but what made me smile was the way that after 4 years of distance in a 9 year friendship, he's still cheering me on, and believing in God's plan for my life.
Do I do that? Do I speak life into people? Do I tell them what they do well? Do I cheer with them when they see a victory, no matter how trivial it may seem? I hope so. I try to. But I'm sure I can do better. Something to think about anyway.
What "good words" have encouraged you? Tag, you're it. I want to hear about it. :)